While the abrupt decision by New Seasons Market to abandon their Public Market project caused concern and discussion among neighbors, Small Businesses are apparently also struggling in Emeryville. Dee Spot Cafe on 65th and Propaganda Gastropub on Adeline were the latest small business to shutter in our city. In addition, two long anticipated projects have stalled or been abandoned completely.
Dee Spot Closes Cafe
Tipsters recently pointed out that Dee Spot Cafe on 65th has closed. Dee Spot Cafe Owner Chan Vanthin confirmed that Dee Spot has closed his cafe operation and will now function as just a pop-up event space. Vanthin alluded that labor costs in tandem with the rising cost of living in our area is making it difficult to find employees that will work at the wage the position commands. “I paid my employees well above minimum wage, and provide bonus incentives if target sales are reached, and it’s still difficult to find reliable employees.”
Chan also noted the commitment it takes to run a small business like his is becoming unsustainable. He described a typical ‘140 hours per week’ that led to a recent emergency room visit citing fatigue. Chan initially reduced staff and hours to address the increasing cost of labor and flattening profits before opting to close their cafe operation for good. He noted he may reopen the cafe space if he’s able to find a business partner.
Dee Spot opened in 2016 after Vanthin purchased Farley’s Café from the prior owner who was among many small business owners who spoke against raising the minimum wage in the city to the highest in the nation. He sold the business shortly after the law went into effect after having run Farley’s at his 65th Street location for over 6 years. Dee Spot closed up shop in less than two years.
If you’re interested in their next pop up event, follow them on Facebook.
Propaganda Gastropub Closes, Sold
Propaganda also announced it’s closing its doors after opening in Emeryville’s Triangle neighborhood along 40th about two years ago.
Propaganda’s hours over the holidays were noted to be a bit erratic causing some concern. Another recent report surfaced that they has indeed closed. Owner Kiet Truong confirmed the closure over email. “I sold the bar. It’s [currently] going through escrow.”
Truong noted that the new owners will maintain the space as a restaurant and would provide an update shortly. “The new operator is still working on the changes.”
Parc on Powell Tenant withdrawals, Space again up for Lease
As previously noted on our social media channels, the leased space at Parc on Powell (rumored to be a natural pharmacy with a coffee and smoothie bar) has withdrawn from the project and the space is available for lease again. No reasons were given for their withdrawal from the project. The larger corner space designated for a restaurant has remained vacant since the completion of the project in 2015.
Adeline Collective Restaurant Stalled
Adeline Collective, a proposed cafe space on the corner of San Pablo and Adeline that we spotlighted in 2016, appears to be stalled. The proprietor faced ongoing challenges including being assessed a $36K development impact fee by the city.
“The past few months have presented several obstacles and have delayed our plans,” noted Michael Johnson when we reached out. Adeline applied for one of the recently issued Cannabis dispensary permits but was ranked low in the scoring matrix and ran up against community opposition.
Johnson noted he hasn’t completely given up and intends to meet with the city and community to solicit ideas for how best to move forward. The space has been vacant since the completion of the project in 2009.